8 Steps to Write Email Copy that Converts

Does your email marketing copy result in the profits you need?

Do you have a massive email contact list? Did you generate your email leads from social media contests, compelling landing pages, or online coupons?

Once you’ve gained a sizeable lead list, it’s how you nurture your leads through your sales conversion funnel that counts.

In this article, I’ll give you 8 actionable steps to write email copy that converts.



1. Write for your Segments


Your email copy will not convert if you do not write for your audience.

Start by segmenting your email contact list. Segmented emails result in 50% more click throughs than non-segmented emails. Both your particular industry and your specific marketing campaign objectives will define your segmentation criteria.

Divide your lists by categories such as:

  • Demographics
  • Interests/ Industry
  • Contest participation
  • Source of lead
  • Sales funnel drop off

Then think like your customer. For each of your targeted emails, brainstorm the needs and wants to define your readers motivations to act on your message. Your customer will be asking questions like:

  • Who is sending me this email?
  • What do they want me to do?
  • How does their ask benefit me?

Answer these questions for each segment, and you’ll be speaking directly to your sales prospects.

Tailor your body content to connect with each segment, and you’ll increase your click throughs and profits.

3 tips to write for your segments:

  • Segment your email lists to support your campaign goals
  • Think like your customer, to motivate action
  • Use lead management software, like Wishpond, that allows you to easily insert segment data, such as demographics and interests


2. Personalize your Emails


Make the effort to personalize your emails. I’ve read that as many as 70% of all business emailssent are not personalized.

This astounds me. With all the customer data marketers have today, there really is no excuse to not include a customer name (as a minimum) in your email marketing campaigns.

Additionally, you’re competing with 100’s of messages in your prospective customers’ inbox. Why would they bother with yours? Give your email a personalized connection, and your reader will show a glimmer of interest.

Include your recipients name in your email content to deepen your lead nurturing, increase trust and motivate your reader to act.

Take personalization further:

  • include your first name, too
  • send emails from individuals (not your company)
  • personalize your automated triggered emails
  • set up your email-gated landing pages to collect customer name data

Email is a massive opportunity to speak person to person with your potential buyer. Add names in your communication to heighten consumer trust, be conducive to further interaction and, ultimately, gain a sale.

3 tips to personalize your copy:

  • Use recipient names in your email copy
  • Your “from” line is important - send your emails from individuals, not your corporate account
  • Send out personalized automated emails for each lead-generating landing page or contest you run





3. Be personal


Your segmented lists may contain hundreds or even thousands of contacts. The last thing your readers want it to be spoken to in mass.

Be personal in your emails.

Write in second person by using “you”, “me” and even “us”. This is really the simplest way to give your email an immediate tone of friendliness. Let’s compare these two sentences of an email copy:

A. "You don't have to wait for your free copy. We've set yours aside. It's available now..."

B. "A free copy is now available for download."

The first is clearly more inviting and personal. It makes your customer prospects feel special, and that you are looking out for their best interests.

Use plain language in your emails. Nobody really likes to be spoken to in corporate talk. We’re immersed in the age of social, and your email marketing campaigns need to reflect this. Write your messages like you would talk to your foot traffic customers. Your goal is to connect with your readers as if you’re talking to them in person, and they’ll connect with you.

3 tips to use second person in your email marketing campaigns:

  • Create a personal connection with masses of email contacts
  • Use “you”, “me” and “us” in your content
  • Write in plain language, as if you’re talking to your prospective customers


4. Match your Subject Line with your Email Copy


Your readers are inundated with spam, and irrelevant email content. Nurture trust in your customers by keeping your subject line consistent with your body text.

Your subject line offers a promise of your text. Don’t damage your business reputation by writing incongruently.

While a titillating line may gain open rates - if it doesn’t support your email content, it’s not going to result in sales.

Drive traffic further on your sales funnel by proving you’re a trustworthy emailer.

Read more tips on writing sure-fire subject lines.

3 tips to match your email copy and subject line:

  • Develop trust in your sales funnel by staying consistent in your messaging
  • Don’t break a promise of content by creating an overly-compelling subject line
  • Write your subject lines after you’ve written your content





5. Align your Landing Page and Email Copy


Create a cohesive online experience for your customers by matching your targeted landing with your email marketing campaign.

Design a consistent visual for both your email and landing page. This creates trust through a singular visual message. If your landing page has a very different look and feel from your email, you’ll likely leave your customer confused and you’ll decrease your sales conversions.

Here’s a great example of a cohesive email campaign from The Gap. Their email streams visually to their sales landing page, increasing conversion rates.




Write consistent copy for both your email campaign and landing page. Make it easy for your customers to identify your ask, and continue in your sales conversion. Keep your landing page copy the same as your email messaging.

3 tips to match your email copy and landing page:

  • Increase sales conversions by aligning email campaigns with landing pages
  • Develop cohesive and compelling visuals and text for your campaigns
  • Make it easy for prospective customers to identify your ask


6. Use a Clear, Compelling CTA


Motivate your readers to convert by providing a compelling Call to Action (CTA) in your email body.

Use action words to instil the urge to click. Studies have shown that consumers tend to actively respond more frequently when they’ve read more verbs. Short, simple action words are most effective in emailed CTAs, such as:

  • “get”
  • “order”
  • “buy”
  • “sign up”
  • “start”

Add words that show consumer benefits , such as “free”, “customized” or “complementary” to increase conversions further.

Keep your CTA above the fold in your email content. Use colour contrasting buttons to create a visual distinction and optimize your ask.

Again, keep the look and feel consistent with your landing page to produce higher conversions.

3 tips to use action words in your Call to Action:

  • Increase conversions with a singular, prominent CTA
  • Use action words to motivate clicks
  • Include  a colour contrasted, easy to click CTA button (the simpler you make your ask, the more customers will click)


7. Format your Email Body for Skimmers


In today’s information overload world, you’ve got to make your content easy to read.

Your audience is skimming your email. Be cognizant of this behaviour ask you write your email copy. The better you can format your content for scanning, the more likely your customer is going to read your email, and give you sales conversions.

When writing email copy, always ask:

Can your reader understand your message in 5 seconds or less?

That’s all the time you’ve got to convince your reader to engage with you further.

3 tips to format your email body for skimmers:

  • Keep your main points bolded and bulleted
  • Keep your sentences short
  • Make your ask clear and simple



8. A/B Test, Track Results and Improve


Measuring your metrics and analyzing your results will optimize your conversion rates going forward. Use your research to continuously improve your profits.

A/B test your email body content. Send out your campaign email to two (or more) segments in your email contact list. Check your view rates, opens, and clickthroughs. Use the text that gets you the best conversion rates.

Track your results for Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) such as:

  • delivery rate
  • view rate
  • open rate
  • click-through rate
  • sales conversion

Then ask questions to refine your email marketing copy, such as:

  • What copy received the highest conversion rates?
  • What campaigns resulted in the more click-throughs?
  • What segments respond best to which CTA’s?

Take action on your analytics and results. Continue to improve your email copy to increase conversions.

3 tips for tracking results:

  • A/B test your email copy on two or more contact segments.
  • Measure the results of each email campaign you run to analyze delivery rates, open rate, click through rates and sales conversions
  • Use your results to optimize your conversion rates and continuously improve


Conclusion


Write first class email copy to convert your leads into repeat customers. Segment your contact list, personalize your personal copy. Align your subject lines with your email body and your landing pages to increase conversions. Write a clear and compelling CTA. Make your email skimmable, and always test your results!

For more reading on email marketing:

What do you think? Do you use email marketing? Share your tips for writing better copy that converts.